Support for Bone Sarcoma
NYU Langone doctors remain actively involved in your follow-up care after treatment for bone sarcoma. Doctors initially see people every three to four months after they have completed their treatment to ensure that the sarcoma has not returned. During these follow-up appointments, doctors at the Perlmutter Cancer Center may perform CT scans, other imaging tests, or blood tests to look for signs of cancer.
As part of your care, our doctors can also develop a plan that helps you recover from bone sarcoma treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. NYU Langone offers a number of support services to people with sarcoma during and after treatment.
A large part of your care after bone sarcoma treatment may involve a comprehensive rehabilitation program, especially if you have had limb-sparing surgery or amputation.
Soon after limb-sparing surgery, our doctors at Rusk Rehabilitation can help you with wound and skin care to enhance your healing. They can prescribe physical and occupational therapy to help you regain strength, balance, and range of motion in the affected arm or leg.
Maintaining flexibility of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues is a priority to help prevent contracture, which is a permanent tightening of a joint or the muscles, tendons, and other tissues around it. Our therapists’ goal is to help you return to the activities that are most important to you, at home and in your community, as soon as possible.
Sometimes, limb-sparing surgery can disrupt the function of the lymph vessels, which are tube-like structures that carry lymph fluid throughout the body, helping to fight infection. Damage to these vessels can cause a build-up of lymph fluid in the arms or legs, a condition called lymphedema.
After an evaluation, a Rusk Rehabilitation doctor can prescribe therapy for lymphedema as well as education about preventing the condition and early warning signs, such as aching, tingling, or a feeling of fullness in the arms, hand, legs, or feet. Our physical therapists use several techniques to help manage the condition.
For people who have had an amputation, extensive rehabilitation starts in the hospital soon after surgery. Doctors at Rusk Rehabilitation can prescribe a rehabilitation program to help you control swelling, learn good skin care, and adapt to changes in posture and range of motion after the loss of a limb.
Our doctors can prescribe physical therapy to help you begin to adapt to the use of a prosthesis, which can include instruction in how to wear and care for the device and an assessment of proper fit. Our experts can also teach you techniques to improve your coordination, balance, and endurance.
After you are discharged from the hospital, a Rusk Rehabilitation doctor can prescribe a rehabilitation program that provides you with the skills you need to participate in activities at home, work, school, and in the community. Programs focus on building strength and coordination and increasing activity levels.
Psychological and Emotional Support
Group counseling is available at Rusk Rehabilitation. It’s designed to provide psychological and emotional support to people who have been diagnosed with sarcoma or have experienced the loss of a limb.
Support groups and one-on-one counseling sessions with a psycho-oncologist, a healthcare provider trained to address the psychological needs of people with cancer, are available at Perlmutter Cancer Center.
Counseling can often help alleviate anxiety or depression during bone sarcoma treatment. Social workers are also available to help you address any financial issues that may arise while you are receiving treatment.
Neuropathy is nerve damage that can be a side effect of chemotherapy. It can cause numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hands, feet, arms, legs, or other parts of the body.
Doctors at Rusk Rehabilitation can prescribe medication to ease discomfort from neuropathy and physical therapy to help you prevent the condition from interfering with your balance and strength. It can also help with walking and performing daily activities.
Nutrition and Exercise
Our doctors encourage healthy eating in people with bone sarcoma as part of their ongoing care. Registered oncology dietitians at the Perlmutter Cancer Center can provide education and counseling on how to manage your diet and overall health.
In addition, a Rusk Rehabilitation doctor evaluates you and prescribes a program of physical and occupational therapy. This includes strength and aerobic exercises to address any weakness or fatigue caused by the cancer or treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Our goal is to encourage your independence at home and in your community.
Our supportive care team offers ongoing treatment for any pain or discomfort that might occur during any part of your treatment and rehabilitation. Supportive care may include medication or integrative health therapies.
Our integrative health services include massage therapy, which can help to reduce stress, and acupuncture, which may relieve both the pain associated with the cancer and the fatigue caused by radiation therapy.
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